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Un Clair de Lune (Moonlight)


Photographs Collection

  • Un Clair de Lune (Moonlight)
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  • Ref Number:


  • Creator:

    Niépce, Joseph Nicéphore (1765-1833)

  • Date:


  • Description:

    ‘Un Clair de Lune’ or ‘Moonlight’, made by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in France, 1827.

    This photograph, made with the resin of oil of lavender on a pewter plate, shows the arches of a ruined abbey in the moonlight, and is taken from an engraving of an artwork by Louis Daguerre (1787-1851).

    Niépce experimented with different resins including the resin produced by heating oil of lavender. New analysis reveals that the image layer of the photograph consists of resinous material which is chemically very similar to heated oil of lavender. The absence of any particles or traces of bitumen also makes it difficult to describe the plate as a typical Heliograph. This is a unique photograph on a pewter plate. As far as we know, this is the only plate in existence made in this way.